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Category Archives: Spring Training

Spring Training: Phillies 4, Orioles 1

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon faces Baltimore's Adam Jones in the 7th. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

There were doubts about Roy Halladay. Yes, doubts. Be shocked.

Well, those concerns about his velocity and inability to controls his breaking pitches last start and doubts he will be ready by Opening Day have all but vanished.

Halladay was in midseason form, commanding everything in his arsenal as well as pitching back at his usual velocity in the Phillies 4-1 win over the Orioles.

He threw 72 pitches (51 strikes) in six innings of work. He allowed a run on three hits and a walk while striking out five in the win.

Freddy Galvis had another big hit, tripling in his second straight game. His go-ahead RBI triple in the 7th was his only hit of the game.

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Spring Training: Phillies 4, Tigers 3

On the day Freddy Galvis was named the starting second baseman on Opening Day, he did not disappoint.

The top infield prospect for the Phillies bumped his spring average up to .282 with his two-run, game-tying triple in the 5th inning as well as scoring the go-ahead run in the Phillies 4-3 win on Monday.

The Phillies were trailing 3-0 heading into the 5th inning and they put a four-spot on the board and held on to beat the Tigers in Clearwater.

Scott Elarton got the start, allowing all three of the Tigers runs in 2 1/2 innings of work. As Opening Day is around the corner, he needs to impress someone to have a shot at cracking the roster as a reliever with Jose Contreras apparently not ready.

Joe Savery was really good in his two innings, allowing a double and striking out three.

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Spring Training: Blue Jays 10, Phils 2

The Phillies managed 12 hits, but could only plate two in their 10-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

Lou Montanez continued his torrid spring, going 3-for-4 with a double and run scored. Shane Victorino had the only other extra base hit, a triple in the 1st inning.

Cole Hamels was hit around in the start, allowing five runs, four earned in 3 1/3 innings of work.

Jose Contreras made his spring debut, giving up four runs on four hits while pitching only 1/3 of an innings. He faced five batters.

The Rotation: Splitting the lefties is worth considering again

SP Roy Halladay. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Cole Hamels certainly is not the fourth best pitcher on the Phillies, but the Phillies rotation may just reflect that heading into a highly anticipated 2012 season.

After reading Jim Salisbury’s post on CSN’s website, splitting the lefties may just be a great direction to take this rotation. By splitting the lefties, it would most likely require Hamels pitching fourth in the rotation.

Though the Opening Day starter hasn’t officially been announced, it will most likely, and should be Roy Halladay taking the first ball in Pittsburgh. Granted the right-hander hasn’t been as immediately effective in his tune up games to the season, there shouldn’t be a doubt in anyone’s mind that he’s the ace of aces.

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Phils cut nine; seeking infield help

Phillies second baseman Kevin Frandsen, left, catches a Houston Astros left fielder Carlos Lee fly ball while avoiding Freddy Galvis (13) and right fielder Tyson Gillies. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

There are less than three weeks of Spring Training left and the Phillies have started thinning out their roster.

Still a ways from 25, the Phillies have sent nine players to minor league camp, dropping their total down to 48 players left in camp.

Right-handed pitchers Dave Bush, Austin Hyatt, B.J. Rosenberg and J.C. Ramirez along with lefthander Pat Misch were reassigned to minor-league camp. As far as position players, infielders Harold Garcia and Cesar Hernandez, outfielder Tyson Gillies, and catcher Sebastian Valle were optioned to minor-league camp.
Both Bush and Hyatt are set to pitch in the starting rotation with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Hyatt could potentially be the only homegrown talent in that rotation.

Top catching prospect Vaille will go to Double-A Reading.

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Blanton improving so far this spring

Encouraging words from Matt Gelb.

Joe Blanton knows the 5th starter’s spot isn’t a lock heading into this season. But he does have the advantage over Joel Pineiro and Kyle Kendrick and he’s taking advantage of that opportunity.

Looking to erase a poor 2011 as well as focus on a contract year, 2012 is going to be the most important year of the 31-year-old’s career as he nears the end of his prime.

Blanton was excellent in three innings of work, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out three in the Phillies 1-0 loss against the Baltimore Orioles.

Blanton was using his change-up quite a bit, tweeted David Hale, as well as forcing batters to make low-quality swings. He did allow five base runners in the three innings, though.

Former Indians reliever Scott Elarton, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2008, pitched well in relief after Blanton. He gave up a lead-off homer to Chris Davis before cruising through four innings without allowing a base running, striking out four.

Phils had a prime opportunity to tie the game in the 6th. They had runners on the corners with one out but Shane Victorino struck out and Jim Thome flew out to end the threat.

Injury Updates: Howard, Brown, Contreras and the missing Utley

Phillies Jim Thome (left) and Ryan Howard (right) talk during Spring Training. (CBS Sports)

Earlier this morning, Domonic Brown had an MRI on his injured right thumb. The results of that MRI showed Brown has some inflammation in his thumb, which he sprained on Monday diving for a ball against the Yankees.

But fortunately for Brown, who also fractured his hamate bone last season in the same hand during Spring Training, this injury isn’t as serious and he should be back in the line up next week.

HOWARD IN A BOOT — Ryan Howard will be put back in a walking boot for a week.

“Maybe longer,” G.M. Ruben Amaro said. “We’re just being really cautious with it. The wound itself has to heal. He’s doing fine. We just want to make sure it heals. It’ll heal. … We just want to make sure we don’t have any more recurrence of any infections at all.”

Unfortunately, but being in the walking boot, Howard won’t be working out, doing his conditioning and staying in shape. It’s a setback.

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Pitching didn’t show up in Phillies loss


Dontrelle Willis and Pat Misch have two things in common today: luck wasn’t on their side.

The two lefties were shelled for a combined eight runs, five earned in their combined 2 2/3 innings of work today. The rest was written in the books as the Phillies dropped to the Houston Astros, 10-3.

Vance Worley made his debut. Hoping to avoid a sophomore slump, Worley wasn’t off to as good a start as the Phillies hoped.

Worley allowed two runs on five hits and a walk without striking out a batter. He threw 40 pitches in his outing.

The Phillies offense was practically non-existent. They were shut out until the 8th inning when Lou Montanez drove in two runs on a double. Hector Luna led off the 9th with a solo home run.

Pierre, Podsednik highlight this spring’s battles

Phillies Domonic Brown, right, steals second base vs. Florida State. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Even championship-caliber teams have position battles during Spring Training. With a good idea of who the 25 men making the Opening Day roster, a few position and roster battles loom heading into this season.

With a place on the team is set, John Mayberry, Laynce Nix and Ty Wigginton are all battling it out for the first base and left field openings left by now-Yankee Raul Ibanez and injured Ryan Howard.

Kyle Kendrick, Joe Blanton and Joel Pineiro are looking to win the fifth starter’s spot of the rotation. Even Domonic Brown is hoping he can impress the Phillies this spring in hopes to skip a trip to Lehigh Valley at the end of March.

Lastly, and possibly the most interesting battle this spring belongs to who the Phillies 25th man will be. With Ben Francisco traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, a spot for an outfield bench player has been vacated.

The top two candidates for that spot are both veteran players with similar traits: Scott Podsednik and Juan Pierre.

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Yankees sweep opening weekend series

It’s opening weekend and the standings show that the Phils are 0-2 to start Grapefruit League play.

Be it that standings don’t matter, there are positives to consider in today’s 7-4 loss to the Yankees in Tampa.

Hunter Pence crushed another two-run homer this spring in as many days, this one coming off Yankees starter Freddie Garcia. Antonio Bastardo pitched a five-pitch 1-2-3 inning in the 6th.

Roy Halladay got the start, going two innings. He allowed a first-pitch solo home run to Alex Rodriguez in the 1st. He only gave up a run on two hits, striking out three.

Domonic Brown went 2-for-4. He was caught trying to steal in the 4th inning.

Michael Martinez had a terrible game in the field, commiting two errors at second base. Ty Wigginton and Brown also committed errors at third base and left field respectively.

Phillies play the Yankees one more time on Monday back in Clearwater. Joe Blanton will get the start.